Parental Involvement and Student Academic Achievement
TA administration and staff believe schools are seeing a decrease in parental involvement as students enter high school. Research conducted by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Dropout Prevention Resource Guide (2008) has demonstrated the positive effects of parental involvement in schools.
Parental involvement in the eighth grade had a strong positive effect on the grade point average of 10th graders (Keith, T.Z., Keith, Quirk, Sperduto, Santillo, & Killings, 1998). In contrast, Balen and Moles (1994) and Hurst (2002) suggest when parents have a positive attitude regarding education and demonstrate trust that their children can do well, children perform better in school. However, parental involvement tends to decrease as students become older (p. 3).
Historical and current studies have investigated the impact of parental involvement and student achievement. Diverse studies have considered how well students perform academically when their parents are involved in their educational process compared to students whose parents are not involved. Sartor and Youniss (2002), in their study about the relationship between positive parental involvement and identity achievement during adolescence, found high parental awareness of adolescent behaviour and parental support would be positively associated with identity achievement. Barber's (1997) study lends support in that the author suggests a theoretical foundation for comprehending the relationship between parenting and adolescent identity development. Furthermore, Barber believes in healthy parent-adolescent relationships; parents provide structure with enough flexibility that adolescents can securely engage in identity exploration.
Of interest to this researcher; however, is a little different than just the direct relationship between student achievement/success and parental involvement as the research seems abundant enough already, but instead an interest in the relationship between parental involvement and the more subjective essence of adolescent aspirations regarding adulthood and the mechanisms of influence that these aspirations have on a student's fight in the future with success.
Wong, Wiest, and Cusick (2002), Eccles and Midgley (1990), Paterson, Field, and Pryer (1994) suggest adolescents' secure parental attachment may allow them to achieve a sense of academic competence, as well as actual school achievement, by providing them with a secure emotional foundation., it is an understanding of the mechanisms for this influence that is noticeably absent in research, which this researcher seeks to understand. One set of researchers, Hill, et al., (2004) aimed to study these mechanisms, but still left room for more rigorous and reliable, empirical design. Thus, this researcher aims to do so.
Purpose of the Research
The purpose of this study would be to address the problem of the lack of research/knowledge about the relationship between child aspirations and student achievement as perceived by the child with emphasis on reliable empirical data. This study has the potential to revitalized education philosophies surrounding at-risk students as categorized by the system. The research challenge is to develop a revitalized approach to education. This is an opportunity to develop the possibility of implementing strategies to empower at-risk students to recognize their own aspirations and succeed on their own. This research study will attempt to answer the following question: How do demographics and student perceptions of themselves, and their future, influence their level of achievement in school? Significant field questions are how have demographics affected the level of student achievement among high school students set to graduate in June 2011, how do student aspirations, according to their own perceptions, affect the level of student achievement among high school students?
For Hill (2004)a longitudinal model was implemented including a variety of socioeconomic factors, including ethnicity, as independent variables to discover their relationship on dependent variables. Socioeconomic status was broken down into related subtopics such as level of parental education and each of these were tested separately (Hill, 2004). The study included the perspectives of related parents, teachers, and adolescents on parent involvement (Hill, 2004).
Hill (et al.) (2004) was designed as parents in selected schools were approached at random during preregistration for Kindergarten and asked if they would participate in the study. A practical problem arose because 15% of children were not preregistered (Hill, 2004). Parents in selected schools were approached by the first day of school by letter or telephone. In this case, 75% of families responded (585 families) with 463 of those families still available for measurement when the students entered 11th grade, a 79% retention rate (Hill, 2004),…